I have suffered from depression for most of my adult life. I’ve been medicated, had therapy, done loads of alternative medicine and been hospitalised with it before and although all of these were helpful when I was in a period of heavy depression – nothing has ever been able to keep it at bay and prevent it.
Until I started running.
Running has done for me what no amount of medication or therapy ever has, it has somehow kept my mood stable for the whole time I’ve been running regularly. Although there were other things in my life that I changed at the same time I started running, I wholeheartedly credit it with controlling my depression.
When you are depressed and seek treatment, doctors will tell you to try and exercise. It’s no secret that exercise helps – but when you’re in the depths of depression hell the last thing you feel like doing is exercise. Well I didn’t anyway. So I am not suggesting that all people currently in a severe depressed state should go to the gym immediately to fix themselves – not by any means.
Depression works in cycles. You have huge lows and they are generally cyclical. I happened to start running when I was in a good place and between bouts of depression which is the pattern of how my depression seems to appear.
And I’ve not had any serious lows since. Yes I have bad days that are more than a non-depression sufferers bad day – but nothing anywhere near what I had been experiencing. No days where I couldn’t get out of bed, no days where I couldn’t speak to anyone and no days where I thought I just couldn’t do life like this anymore.
I cannot urge other depression sufferers enough to take up a form of exercise but in particular running.
When I’m running I think about things rationally. I don’t stew on things, I don’t feel resentful and I think straight. If I am feeling like I am sliding I know I can throw on my trainers and head out the door and to this day I have never done this and come back feeling as I did when I left.
It truly is my own little miracle.